What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Unknown Bug
July 19, 2009
Hello,
I found this bug outside my house and can’t figure out what it is. It has a one segment body. Fourteen legs on each side. A false set of antennae on the back side and it looks like it also has pinchers on the front.
Curious Bugman
Upland, California which is at the base of Mt. Baldy of the Inland Empire.

House Centipede

House Centipede

House Centipede

thx – do they bite?  are they poisonous?  thx in advance

You can find tons of info on the House Centipede online, and though all centipedes have venom, the House Centipede is not dangerous to humans and we have not gotten any reports of bites though we get 100s of ID requests per year.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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13 Responses to House Centipede

  1. sabine says:

    You cannot imagine how freaked out I was when I saw my first one in the US. Especially as you don’t know right away where front and end is.
    I guess they are harmless and you can find them where you would expect silverfish or pillbugs.
    If you hold up a bottle neck to them, they creep in, at least that worked for me.

  2. KapeLady says:

    I just caught one of these bugs in my apartment! I was surprised to see how huge this was! I was also surprised to see that others have come across this house centipede too and how quickly I was able to identify this bug on your website!

    My question is this: You state that although they have venom, they do not bite humans. What about my pets? I have cats and a small dog. I certainly would not want them to be bit by this bug!

    Can you answer this question?

    • bugman says:

      Our own cat catches and east House Centipedes that are unlucky enough to cross the feline’s path. We wouldn’t worry about bites to pets.

  3. marcus311 says:

    No Disrespect to Bugman, but you absolutely should worry about this bug stinging your pets. I have a 150 lb dog who has been bitten/stung TWICE now by one of these. The first time, we had no idea what happened- just saw a little swelling at the sting site. By the time we got him to the doctor, he had a 107 degree and climbing fever, was listless, had a raging infection and could barely walk.The second time, we knew what it was and put him on antibiotics right away. I don’t think ALL animals will have a reaction, but certainly there are those that are alergic to certain venoms.

  4. Bug Tolerant Depending on Mood says:

    Well… I’m so happy to hear that it won’t kill me… but I caught two of these already and am simply too creeped out to let them go… can I just let them loose outside or will they come back in?

  5. dbuggylady says:

    I think I have to break your unbroken string of “no bite reports”. My very first encounter with one of these critters was in the shower- I was in a hurry, and I remember seeing something, but didn’t have my contacts in yet- and it didn’t look like a wasp or a roach or anything else I was afraid of. I wasn’t too worried about it until it bit the crap out of my leg, and I frantically brushed it off- and of course you all know what these things look like up close! I had no idea what it was. My bug man at the time said it was a mature silverfish. The new bug man said it was a firebrat. Neither one had seen the actual bug. We recently had our house sprayed for the first time in years- the spiders were just too too thick for me- and it has caused these creepie crawlies to come out of the woodwork- just this morning one cruised up to my foot and met it’s maker. (Sorry carnage-avoiders!) I haven’t wanted to get too close to one of these after being bitten. I remember it stung pretty badly- not like a wasp or a bee, but pretty annoying and itchy later. I managed to survive without hospitalization, however, unlike the unlucky dog in the post above. I would just be aware- I wonder what in the world caused it to bite me; possibly the water from the shower?

  6. worried_mom_nc says:

    Well, I’m not sure one way or another if this bug bites, but my son is 18 months old and over about 3 days time everytime I would lay him down for a nap or to bed, then he would wake up with bite marks on him. They were sensitive to the touch, but he could not tell me what had happened (only being 18 months old!). We searched his room, changed the sheets and never could come up with an explaination. Then my husband happened across this little bug just today and I rushed to the internet to identify it. If no new bite marks then we have our culprit!!!

  7. i just caught one just like that do they bite im scared because i have had recent encounters but heard they are venoumous only 4 encounters so far need help on finding out if they bite humans with venom

  8. Juli says:

    Hi, I’m from NJ and two days ago I found a huge bug like this in the shower. It got out of under the rubber mat I have in the bathtub when I run the water and step inside. I freaked out and sprayed with bug spray and it did not move any more, then I flushed it in the toilet.

    My problem is that happened 4 days ago and still thinking and getting shills when I remember or go in the bathroom, I look everywhere thinking is coming back or I’m going to find another one. I now move the mat every time after I shower and put a cover in the drain. although I don’t know if that is how it got there.

    Can someone tell me how to keep them out of my apt. I also had ant which I have been able to keep out keeping black pepper around all the kitchen. Please do you have any tips for this bugs to stay out of my apt? It happened to me when I was little bug with a lot of legs got in my hand and since that I have phobia to any bug with more than two or lots of legs, like spiders, or any kind of centipedes, specially with long legs.
    Thank You , I’m even afraid to close my eyes when I wash my face in the shower :(

    • bugman says:

      We do not know how to keep House Centipedes, a beneficial species, from entering your home. Start by weather stripping and making sure there are no spaces around windows and doors.

  9. Abi says:

    I have a 2 week old baby should I get him out of my house. I just found one on my kitchen counter I sprayed it with kaboom and put it in a Baggie. My question is, should I move my child till I take car of this for good. And do these ugly suckers come in more than one? I’m freaking out here

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